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Free Content Symptoms in patients attending services for diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in Sudan

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the variation in clinical features of individuals presenting to a health facility with chest symptoms according to their ultimate diagnosis.

METHODS: Of 16735 patients (52.6% males and 47.4% females) presenting at respiratory centres in seven states in Sudan, 5338 patients were identified with respiratory tract symptoms: 2917 (54.6%) men and 2421 (45.4%) women, with a mean age of 32 years. Those who had cough for more than 3 weeks that was not responsive to a course of antibiotics were screened by microscopy of two or three sputum specimens and chest radiography.

RESULTS: A total of 504 (9.44%) were smear-positive, 259 (4.85%) were smear-negative, and 166 (3.11%) had extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, of whom 59 (1.11%) had pleural involvement; the remaining 4409 suspects (82.6%) were non-tuberculous.

CONCLUSION: Tuberculosis patients had a constellation of presenting symptoms, with the principal symptom being cough for more than 3 weeks. The accompanying symptoms with greatest predicted significance were weight loss, tiredness and night sweats.
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Keywords: Sudan; diagnosis; symptoms; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: National Tuberculosis Programme, Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan; and International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD), Paris, France 2: Epidemiological Laboratory, National Tuberculosis Programme, Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan 3: Department of Medicine, Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan; University of Sudan for Science and Technology, Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan; and Bayan College for Science and Technology, Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan 4: National Tuberculosis Programme, Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan 5: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD), Paris, France 6: University of Khartoum, Department of Medicine, Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan 7: University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: June 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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